As far as renting, if you are not living close by, then you should get a property management company to handle your rental. I work with a couple good companies that are in the Sun City area and their reputation speaks for them.
If you would like more information, you can email directly to email@example.com
I believe you came close to answering your own question when you stated that you are not too excited about being a landlord.
You are the only one that can answer this question intelligently. However I am going to share some food for thought:
1 - being a landlord from afar is very, very challenging. And considering your current experience, I would think three times before becoming one.
2 - are you planning to spend time here from now until when you retire in 3 or 4 years? If yes, it may make sense to buy as you will enjoy the property now.
3 - some media outlets reported an average price increase in the Phoenix metropolitan area of 14% in 2012. It is a huge increase. However it is based on a very low bottom. Prices are still depressed. The expectation of most people I meet is that the prices will continue to go up. How fast is anyone's guess.
4 - in my investment models I am using a 6% appreciation per year over the next 5 years. It will probably be slightly higher this year, but I am very conservative.
5 - are you able (financially) to buy your retirement home now? Most people would need to sell their current home before they can afford to buy their retirement home. Some people end up buying a vacation home first and then when they retire they sell both their homes and buy their retirement home.
I hope this helps.
Jose Dias, REALTOR
Unfortunately, no one has an accurate crystal ball for predicting what will happen with prices in the next few years. Real Estate pricing continues to be driven by a combination of the law of supply and demand, financing options available, economic considerations, and location.
I can share that activity in Sun City West continues to be fairly steady and I'm glad I purchased my home here over a year ago. There are still some great deals to be had, but you have indicated that you're not excited about being a landlord and maintaining a vacant home in Arizona is not something I would recommend.
Please feel free to contact me at (623) 396-9157 if you are not currently working with a Realtor and I can be of assistance.
Now is a great time, get in while prices are still good and take advantage of today's pricing, rent and then retire. Let me know how I can help
"Living and loving Arizona, where you don't have to shovel sunshine" :)
Selling prices for homes are up in the Phoenix metro area 21% from a year ago at this time. This has made the Phoenix metro the fastest growing in price increases in the US this year. The Real Estate department at Arizona State University just predicted prices to rise the next two years with a 9% price increase forecasted for 2013. If you wish to see the research article from the Arizona Republic, just let me know. Mortgage rates are expected to stay low for at least another year.
You should way this with your personal situation and your cash and/or mortgage needs.
Right now home prices in the metro are at approximately 2003 levels.
Jeff Masich, Realtor, GRI, MBA
If you have the resources, at the least it makes sense to check with a realtor and begin looking at inventory so you can see the increases in homes yourself. In my opinion, now is the best time to buy, while prices are lower.
Have a great New Year!